my week at the movies: ‘Wanted,’ ‘The Love Guru,’ ‘Hancock,’ ‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,’ ‘Finding Amanda’

These posters for Wanted [opens wide June 27] are all over the damn place here in New York, and every time I see one, my eye is drawn to it… well, drawn to James McAvoy. Because he’s a cutie, sure, but also because I look at him trying to be all cool with the guns, and I can’t help but think, with something like a little bit of gentle pity, Oh, James, you’re just not a gun guy. I hope I’m wrong, because this blend of The Matrix and Harry Potter — where the secret people are assassins instead of magicians — looks kinda cool. Then again, it looks cool because it’s from Russian director Timur Bekmambetov, whose films Night Watch (Nochnoi dozor) and Day Watch (Dnevnoy dozor) are extremely cool to look at… and not a little incoherent as well.

The less said about The Love Guru [opens wide June 20], the better. Except that Mike Myers needs to get a new schtick, because there’s nothing sadder than recycled schtick.

I’m thinking maybe Hancock [opens wide July 2] could be one of the biggest movies of the summer. Cuz it’s Will Smith over the Fourth of July weekend, and that’s been a recipe for hugeness for more than a decade now. But the film looks like it could be an antidote for all the Very Serious superhero movies we’ve been getting lately. Don’t get me wrong: I like those Very Serious superhero movies. But a change of pace never goes amiss. As long as Hancock is actually funny, and for more moments than we’ve seen the trailer.

Director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) is back with another movie about the Chinese and Chinese-American experience with A Thousand Years of Good Prayers [opens limited July 25], based on a short story by Yiyun Li.

Finding Amanda [sneak preview on HDnet on June 25; opens limited June 27] is from one of the creators of Rescue Me, which I still haven’t seen and keep meaning to. It stars Matthew Broderick and Maura Tierney, which makes it a Good Thing right off the bat.

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Wed, Jun 18, 2008 1:33pm

James McAvoy isn’t a gun guy but Jolie knows how to handle a gun. I can’t take my eye off the poster because she takes up most of it :D . She’d Look good with those tattoos . I hope Jolie considers making a few of them permanent.

Wed, Jun 18, 2008 2:07pm

I agree with you on all points about James McAvoy, but I can’t take my eyes off the poster for a different reason: the horrible photoshop job done on Angelina’s arm. That poster is just the worst. It really creeps me out. I still can’t wait to see the movie, though.

Thu, Jun 19, 2008 1:11pm

The really scary thing about Jolie’s arm: I don’t think it is Photoshopped at all. She really is that thin.